Senate drops stem cell provision; OA likely to pass

The US Senate dropped language from a bill yesterday that would have directed federal money to research on stem cell lines derived before June 15, 2007, the linkurl:Chronicle of Higher Education;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3262/senate-removes-stem-cell-provision-opposed-by-bush-from-spending-bill reported. The move was made in hopes to avert a presidential veto over the stem cell provision.

By | October 18, 2007

The US Senate dropped language from a bill yesterday that would have directed federal money to research on stem cell lines derived before June 15, 2007, the linkurl:Chronicle of Higher Education;http://chronicle.com/news/article/3262/senate-removes-stem-cell-provision-opposed-by-bush-from-spending-bill reported. The move was made in hopes to avert a presidential veto over the stem cell provision. The language was part of a Senate Appropriations Committee budget measure for 2008, proposed in June of this year, which would allow research on 400 lines of stem cells derived in private academic and independent laboratories. The $152 billion spending bill also includes provisions for the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services. Word is that the president -- as he has in the linkurl:past;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53063/ -- may still veto the bill, despite the removal of the stem cell language, because of the high level of spending. "We wanted to show that we are willing to compromise," said Sen. Tom Harkin, democrat from Iowa, in a floor statement. "We're willing to try to meet the president halfway." In response to strident federal restrictions on stem cell research, many linkurl:states;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53690/ have engineered funding plans of their own; New Jersey voters will vote whether to borrow $450 million for stem cell research on November 6. The bill, if passed, would also require all research funded by the National Institutes of Health to be open access, as we reported in linkurl:July;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/53366/,%22 . "The strengthened NIH open access policy in the Appropriations Bill provides a valuable opportunity to enhance access to the results of biomedical research funded by US taxpayers," Matt Cockerill, the publisher of BioMed Central (a sister company of The Scientist) wrote to me in an Email this morning. Funders around the world have recognized the benefits of open access, he added, and "an open access mandate from NIH, the world's largest biomedical funder, is a natural next step."

Comments

October 22, 2007

Thanks for update on the legislation. We've rounded up some of the current threads at Science Progress.org. Open Access will empower scientists and the public alike.

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